Marine Commissioning at Garden and Galley

Garden and Galley Marine CommissioningMarine Commissioning

When Patty initially reached out to me about capturing her son Tanner’s commissioning ceremony, I was elated. As a military spouse and an alum of a senior military college, events like this have a special place in my heart.  Tanner’s family came up from Pensacola to witness him take the oath to become a Marine officer at Garden and Galley in downtown Birmingham.

After being sworn in, his father, a former Navy Diver, presented him with the traditional Mameluke sword and his mom and sister pinned his new rank on.  Following the swearing in, the family took a few portraits and then headed inside for a delicious dinner from Garden and Galley.  We wish Tanner all the best in his future endeavors as a new Marine officer.Garden and Galley Marine Commissioning

 

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Historic Prattville Engagement Session

Prattville Engagement Session with PopsiclesHistoric Prattville

When Kaitlyn suggested having her engagement session in downtown historic Prattville, I was thrilled.  This charming little town just outside of Montgomery has a bit of a New England feel in the south with cute shops, pretty architecture, and a romantic view with a waterfall.

Lots of Laughs

Kaitlyn and Danny were a joy to photograph.  Not only were they just adorably together but they kept each other laughing the entire time as well as me.  We spent the afternoon walking around downtown and towards the end of the engagement session, decided to get popsicles at Frios.  Ya’ll those popsicles are divine!  So glad we stopped in and how cute are those photos of Danny and Kaitlyn with them?!

He Said, She Said

One of my favorite things to ask my couples is they love about each other.  Danny said, “My favorite thing about my beautiful bride is her heart. Kaitlyn’s passion for life, love, spirituality, family, friends, animals, music and theatre is the most admirable thing about her. She has a look that can pierce your soul. Nobody’s ever admired me, looked at me or loved me like she does. The concern she has for everyone’s physical and spiritual well-being transcends others. Kait makes me better every day. She may not realize it, but I think she will make the best Mom one day, and I’m so lucky that I get to share this life with her.”

When I asked Kaitlyn, her response was, “My favorite thing about Danny is his heart. He is an extremely loving and loyal man. His heart comes great love and great humility. I’ve had the privilege to watch it in all sorts of ways over the past three years and it continues to amaze me. He is so incredibly personable and loving to everyone, especially his family and friends. His family and his friendships mean so much to him. I’ve had his friends even come talk to me about how they wish they were more like him, and that all of them strive to be like him. He is the type of person who would come get you on the side of the road at 2am if you called. He is loyal with his work no matter how unfair and unjust it can be at times. This has been any job he has had really. I’ve watched him through his dream job and the job he loves now. He commits to the work he has in front of him through thick and thin. Danny has a servant heart and shows me that any chance he can. My dad even commented one time after having dinner together how effortlessly he just started to help clean up and start dishes. I could go on and on about the many many ways he serves, but one thing I can absolutely note is the way that his love shows me the infinite love of Christ. I’m incredibly honored and lucky to have him as my husband. ”  I look forward to capturing their wedding next year in Montgomery.

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A Royal Wedding: Harry and Meghan

Royal Wedding

I am a confessed total Anglophile and so the minute Harry and Meghan announced their engagement I have been counting down the days until the royal wedding.  Jason and I are huge Suits fans and so I had a feeling that her dress would mirror some of her sleek and elegant outfits worn on the show.  While I adored the romantic elegance of Kate Middletons wedding, I looked forward to the juxtaposition of Meghan’s and how it would compare.

I set my alarm for 5:oo am and settled in with a cup of Earl Gray this morning waiting to see her emerge with a classic boatneck dress.  It was absolutely stunning.  Simple, sleek, and timeless!

St. Georges Chapel

I adore gothic architecture and the stunning grandeur of the greenery covered arches of St. George’s Chapel made my romantic heart so happy.  After her processional, I ran upstairs and woke my daughter up so she could see the rest of the wedding.  It was such a joy to watch the rest of the wedding with her.  Her fascination with music came out as she had 100 questions about the cello player and the harpist.  She is now spending the rest of her Saturday in her “fancy” wedding dress and dress up shoes.

Personal Touches

Part of my love of weddings and photography is the personalized storytelling that is unique to each couple.  I love the special and symbolic touches each one adds to the wedding day.  Listening to the coverage of Harry and Meghan’s day, I adored hearing that he picked myrtle, a tradition in English bouquets and had them placed among forget-me-nots that were in honor of his mother.  While the bouquet was simple and understated, I think it worked in keeping with the simple elegance of her dress with the signature item being her beautiful smile and tiara.

A Royal Weddings Effect

After Kate Middleton was married, we saw a huge uptick in similar wedding dresses that our brides wore and I hope that trend holds true as we move into 2019 with our brides choosing timeless and classic designs inspired by the royal wedding today.  Now we wait with the rest of the world to see the official portraits!  Congratulations to the newly married couple!

Photos from The New York Times , Ben Stansall, and Andrew Matthews

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Alley Station Wedding | Jessica and Cody

Bride and groom on roof top of Alley StationA Montgomery Spring Wedding

We had the honor of capturing Jessica and Cody’s wedding at the Alley Station in Montgomery, Alabama the other week.  This historic building is situated in the heart of a very vibrant downtown nightlife and it added to the excitement of the day.  When we first started talking with Jessica, she shared their love of the unique architecture of the building and how excited she was about having portraits with it as a backdrop.

Jessica and her bridesmaids got ready in the upstairs of the warehouse with beautiful window light and lots of laughs.  Before her first look with her father, they presented her with a handprinted box filled with letters from each of them.  She then headed down to meet her father in her wedding dress.  After a tearful first look he presented her with sparkling diamond earrings to wear down the aisle.

For her first look with Cody we headed to the lower level of the Alley Station and gave them time to savor seeing each other for the first time that day.  Just before we started to take the bridal party photos, we happened to walk by a place called escapology.  With a spectacular front room that really mirrored the elegant theme of the Alley Station it was just perfect for portraits and added a little extra fun to the day.

Rooftop Garden

Later that afternoon we headed up to the rooftop terrace for the ceremony but not before a big surprise.  Three of Jessica’s bridesmaids were expecting and one just happened to go into labor.  It was exciting to share in the joy on Jessica’s face knowing that she would get to share her wedding day with a sweet future family member.

Not in my wildest dreams could I have picked a more lovely view or more lovely people. The sun shined just enough to give us a glow that accented Jessica’s beauty all that more.  With a lush green garden draped in gauzy fabric and a very french-quarter style and feel with the balconies, it was quite the romantic setting to say “I Do”.

Dancing and Cake

We just love when our couples are fun and focused on the enjoyment of their day and this bridal party truly knew how to kick off a party with a fun dance off as they were announced into the reception.  Followed by dancing, cake, and toasts the evening truly was about sharing their love with their family.  We loved hearing how  Jessica and Cody met at work, slightly by accident.  He was being given a tour and human resources happened to stop by Jessica’s office.  They became friends, even commuting to work together and quietly started dating, keeping their romance mostly quiet until Cody proposed.

As the evening came to a close they left in a large shower of sparklers and surrounded by friends.  Congratulations to the happy couple!

Lets’ Stay Connected

If you want to know more about how Cody proposed head here. Want more stories like this, please subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest updated content and sign up for our Facebook page for special live content. In addition, to view all of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel. 

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Money Priorities

Money Priorities

In last week’s session we spoke with Ashley Stork of Wedding Vine Events and discussed how to make a reasonable wedding budget priorities. In this week’s video we are going to take money that we have budgeted and pair it with priorities. If you missed our first episode click (here) to watch the series from the beginning.

Weddings and Money

So it has come time to actually place money to things you want for your wedding. Often, we find brides that have very grandiose plans for their day and are unaware of how much money it will take to actually take to make those dreams a reality. In this video we have outlined a few steps to make this process easier:

  1. Place a defines amount of money next to each priority based on its value- For this step you will put a dollar amount next to each priority for the amount you want to spend. Keep in mind this is only a preliminary amount and not the final amount. This step just gives you an idea about how much you think you should spend for each category. I guarantee this will change as you go through this exercise but we have to have a starting point.
  2. Do Market Research- This is a vital step in the budgeting process. Doing your research will help to determine if the vendor meets your needs. You may find the vendor or their services are not what you want for the price point you have at this time. If this is the case, you may have to redistribute some money to that priority to get what you want. Make sure to ask for any hidden costs associated with the package you have chosen to avoid any sticker shock at the end.
  3. Adjust the money to each priority as needed- Once you have your vendors and packages all lined up, it is time to adjust your numbers. This is where priorities are so vital. KEY POINT!! If the item is not a high priority, don’t reallocate a lot of money to it. Sometimes during the wedding planning process you may get what we call “planning fog”. This occurs when everything just becomes kind of blurry and everything turns into a priority. We urge you to be careful about this because it will save you a lot of headaches in the end.

Once you have completed step three you will need to break out a calculator. You will have to add all of your expenses up to make sure they have not gone over your total budget. If they have you may have to allocate more money or cut something. KEY POINT!! Make sure both you and your fiancée’ are involved during this whole process to ensure there is no surprises. Make sure you stay tuned for next week for our 5 tips.

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I hope you have enjoyed this post. If you have, please subscribe to our newsletter below to receive the latest updated content and head to for our Facebook page for special live content. In addition, to view all of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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